Challenge Taken: The Keepsake
As I mentioned yesterday, this is the challenge I have been working on; struggling would be the best word to describe it! I have been trying to combine two challenges together and alongside this, my subconscious and conscious mind has also been battling it out; how this story should pan out and how it will turn out to be. Eventually we agreed to disagree and opted for an amicable compromise. What I envisioned and what it became is so far apart I am unsure how this actually fits Bille Jo’ Spacey Sunday -Flash Fiction Challenge in addition to that, the word count has far exceeded Haley Whitehall’ May Flash Fiction Challenge; so I am truly disheartened with my attempts this time round. Maybe I am being tough on myself -post food poisoning… What are your thoughts did I achieve the two challenges or did I fall short?
Spacey Sunday: Write a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less in any genre you want (a space theme not in the sci-fi genre could be a real challenge). You must use the spacey theme.
Friendly Note: I used the following definition as a guide for Spacey:
|Part of Speech:||adjective|
|Synonyms:||beat*, bizarre, crazy, dizzy, erratic, far out, flaky, flighty, freakish, kooky, nutty, odd, oddball, off the wall, off-center, offbeat, out in left field, out to lunch, peculiar, quirky, spaced out, strange, way out, weird|
* = informal/non-formal usage
(Taken from Thesaurus.com)
May Flash Fiction: You must start your story with the sentence: ”He should have never been there in the first place.” The story must be 500 words or less. Your story needs to have a clear beginning, middle and end.
What a tough challenge; ladies you certainly made me work hard on this one; I only hope it’s an enjoyable read even if I have failed both challenges on this occasion.
He was not meant to be there in the first place; the alarm sounded, drilling into his bones. Alex yanked Simone’s sleeve with urgency.
“What are you doing?!!”
“One second, I’m nearly done.”
“Simone! They’ll come, let’s go!”
“Not without my keepsake.”
“I told you not to come! Now be quiet –I need to concentrate.”
Equipped with special coated elbow-length gloves she reached into the fish tank brimming with electric eels. Alex gasped; Simone held her breath. The eels wrapped around Simone’s slender wrist -their touch should have electrocuted her.
“James worked wonders with these gloves.” She enthused.
“That’s just splendid!” Alex said in contempt.
Simone shot him a depreciative glance.
Muffled voices came from behind the study’s door.
“Simone!” Alex’ voice; exasperated.
“Got it!” she grinned holding a small clam in her palm.
The door creaked open. They ducked under the mahogany desk holding their breaths; the patio door, from where they entered, was slightly ajar; if they made a run for it they could be seen. They stayed crouched, cramped; hearts racing.
Footsteps shuffled towards the desk; stopped then went towards the patio doors.
“They must have left by now” the voice deep; the click of a pistol eased.
Alex shot a pleading look at Simone. She glared back
“No!” she hissed.
They did not hear the steps. A metal barrel pointed at them; nudging them to stand up.
Simone flicked Alex with annoyance as she rose begrudgingly.
Alex did not budge; his stance unresponsive; his eyes glazed. Suddenly he twitched –his body jutted to and fro as his head hit the desk repeatedly.
“We don’t want no funny business, just get out.” The voice barked.
The banging continued.
He kicked Alex “Move!”
Simone jerked forward towards the man with the pistol “Hey! Stop that!”
The second man pushed Simone against the fish tank, water gushed to the ground “I’d behave if I were you –you aren’t doing yourself any favours.”
Her voice callous “He’s having a seizure!”
“This isn’t the time to play games!” his grip tightened around her throat.
“Joe hold on; she’s right” said the old man with the pistol. He kneeled down to take a look at Alex.
“Albert be careful” warned Joe as he lessened his grip on Simone’ neck. His eyes focused on Albert.
Albert placed the pistol on the floor and moved closer to Alex. Alex shook; his head banging on the floor as he slid out from under the desk and rested between Albert and the pistol.
Simone slowly reached into the fish tank whilst keeping her eyes fixated on Joe and grabbed an eel.
“Hey that’s private property! Keep your hands where I can see them” Joe thrust towards Simone; Joe jerked with each touch of the eel then keeled to floor.
On cue, Alex reached for the gun and shakily pointed it towards Albert.
“Now son don’t do nothing rash.” stuttered Albert; his arms raised.
Simone placed the eel on his neck; Albert lurched involuntarily several times before finding the floor.
“Simone! What’s got into you!” Alex’ voice disturbed.
“You rather we get done?”
“Good –now we need to go.”
Simone took the gun from Alex and wiped it down; she placed it in Albert’ hand. She checked her pocket and signed with relief to see the clam was still intact.
“I hope it’s worth it!” Alex stood up glaring at her.
“Relax will ya! I just saved your bacon; anyone would think you would have preferred to be spending the next few nights in prison! ” Simone raised the clam towards the light; something sparkled inside. “Oh and nice touch with the seizure, I didn’t know you had it in you –though I would have gotten us out eventually.”
“Jeez Simone you make it sound like this is something to be proud of!”
“Oh Alex –get off your high horse! You know this was a buzz; admit it.”
Unwilling to admit; “Had I known what your plans were for this evening I would not have come!”
“You’re forgetting you weren’t invited!”
“Since when did you start breaking and entering -not to mention burglary?!!!”
“Now don’t you start with your morals! You know full well what we were up to when we got here.”
Alex fumed. “I just had an epileptic fit!”
Joe let out a muffled groaned.
Simone grabbed the eel and stunned him again; he yelped and then lay motionless.
“Simone!” Alex said perturbed.
“Just shut up, shut up and run!” she snapped as she threw the eel back into the tank.
They both sped off slipping and sliding on the wet floor until they found themselves out in the vast gardens. They made their escape under the dark night with the millions of stars gazing down on them; the crescent of the moon, visible; their new journey beginning as they heard the sirens speeding towards the manor.
Incidentally the word count is: 816 including the title.